21 (2)
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2021
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ANTINOMIES
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

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Philosophy

The Death of Socrates: Key Philosophical Interpretations

Emelyanov, Andrey

The subject of the article is the reconstruction of the death event of Socrates, as well as the hermeneutics of his last words spoken shortly before his death. Based on ancient Greek texts and a subsequent tradition, the author identifies three key interpretations of these words. According to the first interpretation, the death of Socrates is a kind of a cure for life (Plato, Xenophon, F. Nietzsche). Within the framework of the second one it is understood as an act of parrhesias or a form of philosophical verdict of the truth (J. Dumézil, M. Foucault). The third interpretation aims to deconstruct the “heroic” pathos of this event. Based on historical sources, a hypothesis is put forward according to which Socrates is considered as a political criminal, an enemy of Athenian democracy. Based on this thesis, his death is revealed as a religious practice of the scapegoat ritual. From this perspective this expression of Socrates (“We owe a rooster to Asclepius”) is perceived as irony and grotesque and does not, in fact, seriously affect the general context of his philosophical practice. In our opinion, each of three interpretations presented forms its original horizon in understanding philosophy as the therapy of a soul. So in the first case we are talking about a comforting conversation format as caring about ourselves. In the second case, we are talking about the consideration of the figure of a philosopher as a “philosopher on barricades” (caring for others) – about a tradition that finds its continuation in Plato's “trips” to Syracuse to visit Dionysius as well as in the revolutionary actions of May 1968. Finally, the third format of philosophical therapy reconstructs the mechanism of ancient social practice in front of us during which the image of the sage and his philosophical practice are considered by society as poison which threatens with its fundamental foundations. The latter problematizes the figure of a philosopher and his role in the context of a political, religious and social life of a community. If the first two forms of understanding philosophy as a social therapy represent its discourse as the means of “healing”, which arises in order to cure society from internal ailments, then the latter, on the contrary, symbolically depicts a philosopher's public condemnation and his death itself as the only medicine that can save society from a disease called philosophy.

Keywords: Socrates; last words of Socrates; parrhesia; scapegoat ritual; pharmacon; social therapy.

The Gettier Problem from a Position of Rational Skepticism

Yartsev, Rustem

Abstract. This article focuses on the discussion of the Gettier problem, which has remained an unresolved epistemological puzzle for more than half a century. Counterexamples proposed by E. Gettier highlight the need for auditing the classical triple definition of knowledge aimed at eliminating the ambiguity of the interpretation of the truth using this definition. It shows the fallacy of the most ways to solve the problem, which only narrow the “gap” between the “objective” truth and the “truth of the subject” in the definition, without saving it from new, more sophisticated counterexamples. The correct solution path is substantiated, which consists in freeing the classical definition from the requirement of knowledge intersubjectivity, the implementation of which is impossible in real cognitive practices. A new solution is proposed in this direction, the basis of which is the author’s concept of rational skepticism, combining the following aspects of scientific knowledge: 1) universal skepticism of the thesis “I know that I know nothing”; 2) local skepticism, limited by accepted premises and overcome in effective scientific research; 3) universal scientific method that normalizes each scientific research as a sequence of stages of posing a question, putting forward hypotheses, testing hypotheses and synthesizing answer, skeptical reflection on the answer. The proposed solution defines knowledge as a justified belief of the cognizing subject, which is not true in the intersubjective sense, but is accepted as true only by the given subject, who is also convinced of the truth of the justification and its prerequisites. Due to this, rational cognitive practices legalize the revision of knowledge by various subjects, which allows one to explain Gettier's paradoxes, having discovered under the guise of “objective” truth, refuting anyone’s justified beliefs as knowledge, nothing but the truth of the subject who revises them.The effectiveness of the proposed solution is illustrated for amateur scientific knowledge on such well-known examples as “a cow in the meadow”, “Smith getting a job”, “Deceiving a girl upon meeting”. The theoretical and practical significance of the problem is revealed.

Keywords: Gettier's problem; knowledge; truth; revision; rational skepticism; scientific method.